Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Pierre LeBrun at ESPN,
It’s time to stop calling Paul Kelly the “new” leader of the players’ union. On Friday, he celebrated his one-year anniversary on the job as executive director of the NHL Players’ Association.
“Today is the big day,” Kelly told ESPN.com in an interview Friday.
Much has changed in his 365 days in office. The players’ union was a divided group when Kelly came on board, still reeling from its controversial decision to accept the sport’s first salary cap in order to end the NHL lockout three years ago.
continued… with a look back and looking ahead
from Mike Smith at the Hockey News,
The NHL is entering the fourth season under the new collective bargaining agreement. The first three years have witnessed significant revenue growth that has led to an increase in club payrolls.
Salaries, from the players’ perspective, have risen nicely.
There is a notion the new agreement has helped the players more than the clubs. But before you make an assessment, you need to read the entire pact. There is likely to be a major shift back toward the clubs during the 2008-09 season.
Paul Kelly has been executive director the National Hockey League Players Association for less than a year, but he already has formed some strong opinions on how the game should approach its business.
- There should be at least one more franchise in Canada
- Expansion – or relocation – to Europe makes sense
- Jim Balsillie should be an NHL owner
read on as Paul Kelly sits down with Daren Millard of Hockey Central.
from the CP via TSN,
Anyone who played in the NHL last season can expect to receive a nice little bonus by the end of the month.
A source tells The Canadian Press that the players will be given back all of the money they paid into escrow last season….
Some players will receive fairly sizable cheques.
For example, Daniel Briere and Scott Gomez each earned US$10 million last season. They’ll both get back the $950,000 they paid into escrow plus interest and an additional $48,000 or so to cover the shortfall in overall salary payments.
from the CP,
“I think that it has worked better for the players than they anticipated coming out of the lockout in 2005,” he (Paul Kelly) said recently. “I think there was a great deal of fear and unhappiness (when it was signed). There was a lot of unhappiness about the fact that the players had agreed to a rollback of salaries by 28 per cent. There was a fear of what a cap system was going to mean - not only for them personally, but for their team.
“I think as it has evolved ... it’s actually worked relatively well.”
Of course, there are elements of the deal he’d prefer to see changed.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
BERLIN—It looks like the NHL is going for reinforcements in its European invasion.
With four teams in Europe to kick off the 2008-09 regular season this week it’s possible that number could double next fall, the head of the National Hockey League’s Players’ Association, Paul Kelly, said Sunday.
The number of teams taking part in what is now a two-year tradition of starting the regular season in Europe will grow next fall to six teams presumably in three cities and maybe as many as eight teams, Kelly said before the Tampa Bay Lightning faced off against Berlin in an exhibition game Sunday.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Any attempt by the NHL to pull out of the Olympics after the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games will face a stiff fight from the NHL Players’ Association.
Paul Kelly, executive director of the NHLPA, said Thursday that “NHL management does not have the right to make unilateral statements that we will not participate in the Olympics again. Players have strong views about the issue.”
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The latest pension court battle between the NHL and its players may look minor compared with the previous one, when the owners were caught with their hands in the till, but it will be a watershed moment for union boss Paul Kelly.
It is not important that he wins the fight, only that he is willing to wage it. By doing so, he should satisfy a small but influential group of his members who remain suspicious of anything that smacks of a cozy relationship with the NHL.
My view is that it is difficult for some of those teams, particularly in the American sunbelt, where they don’t have the establishment of hockey at a youth level. I grew up in Boston and there were youth hockey leagues everywhere. Every town had two or three rinks in it, and the game was and is part of our upbringing there.
But if you’re in Phoenix or you’re in Florida, it’s really tough for those teams to put people in the seats and sell the game. We understand that and maybe the revenue-sharing system is part of the answer. But our view is that if teams in any region suffer (financial) losses three or four years in a row, then stop complaining about it in a (business) system you created and imposed here, and start asking the question whether you’re in the right place.
-Paul Kelly in a continued interview with Adam Proteau of the Hockey News.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
If it decides to terminate the deal, the NHLPA must notify the league of that intention by May 18, 2009. According to Kelly, he plans to wrap up his 30-team tour by late November and then promptly hand over the voting results to the board for review in December. On or about Jan. 1, some 4 1/2 months prior to the deadline, the NHLPA plans to inform the league whether it will opt out.
“We’ll notify the league as soon as possible,” said Kelly. “We don’t want to drag this out.”
Unlike the contentious days leading up to the 2004 lockout, and the many months of vitriol and rancor that followed, union members have voiced little opposition to the salary cap system in place now for three seasons.
read on and some NHL bits too…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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